Illamasqua: Makeup for Your Alter Ego

Published in: Makeup

Today UK makeup artist Rochelle shares her thoughts on Illamasqua, a new makeup line that some are calling the next MAC.

illamasqua cosmetics fantasy collection


Britain’s up-and-coming Illamasqua launched in Selfridges, London in September 2008 and has since rolled out to a limited number of stores across the UK and online (click here to see their online store). And the company now ships to the US, so you guys can also get your hands on the goodies, yay!

illamasqua cosmetics counter
The Illamasqua counter

Developed by professional makeup artists and produced by Kryolan, Illamasqua is fast becoming a MAC rival, and perhaps it’s no coincidence that their flagship concession is right next to MAC in Selfridges, London. Like MAC does, they pay special attention to professional MUAs, giving them a generous 40% discount.

illamasqua cosmetics romance collection
Illamasqua Romance collection

I was so excited when I saw the visual promos for this brand. They’re really stunning and unique and unlike anything I’ve seen before — quirky, like the Carrie Bradshaw of the makeup world.

illamasqua cosmetics sirens collection
Illamasqua Sirens collection

Illamasqua’s tag line is “makeup for your alter ego,” and they break the brand down into four stories:

  1. 1920’s Berlin
  2. Noir
  3. Fantasy and Romance
  4. Sirens (limited edition)

We’ve all got a hidden siren inside, haven’t we, girls? 🙂

illamasqua cosmetics fantasy collection 2
Illamasqua Fantasy collection

The brand has a slightly dark, naughty feel to it, and I would have so loved to have been in the meeting room when they came up with the names for the products (slut, moan, sadist anyone?!). It’s all about bringing out that sexy alter ego.

A few notes on the products

illamasqua cosmetics

The eyeshadows, in particular, are unusual in that all but two or three of them are matte shades. I think it’s so nice to have a brand that has kept the colours striking while simultaneously keeping them simple and not overloading the shimmer.

The cream eyeshadows are also lovely, and Illamasqua also has a line of pure pigments with amazing colour payoff. The company is very generous with the eyeshadow pans, too, which are larger than MAC pans, and they offer the option to customise eyeshadow quads by choosing your own colours to go in each of the palette’s four pans.

illamasqua cosmetics 1920s berlin collection
Illamasqua 1920’s Berlin collection

I’m a bit of a Magpie when it comes to gorgeous packaging (hel-loooo, Chanel!), and I haven’t been disappointed by the beautiful but simple designs of Illamasqua’s products.

Sleek black compacts with a discreet Illamasqua logo, and the pigment containers are particularly novel in their design, which stops you tipping out too much (ever had your heart stop after accidentally knocking over a MAC pigment and seeing all that lovely stuff fall on the bathroom floor?).


illamasqua cosmetics 1920s berlin collection 2
Illamasqua 1920’s Berlin collection

If you’re ever in London, get yourself down to Selfridges to check out their concession. You can even book a makeover (£30, redeemable against products), and the stand has laptops on each counter that MUAs can use to research looks for you. You can Google Dita Von Teese, or whatever floats your boat, and voila! You’ve got a picture on hand, and you also get a DVD of your makeover to take home with you. How cool is that!

Price-wise, I would say it’s mid-range. Expect to pay around $21 for a single eyeshadow, $18.50 for a lipgloss and around $29.50 for a foundation, so slightly more than MAC, but not as much as Chanel.

I have to say — I really love this brand and think it’s become my new favourite obsession. 🙂

This post was written by Rochelle, a freelance makeup artist from the UK. When she isn’t doing bridal makeup, creating special looks for as many as 100 brides a year (that’s a lot of makeup!), she enjoys spending time with her husband, Paul, and 5-year-old daughter, Emma, who is showing absolutely no interest in makeup.


Like this post? Tell your friends!

So far, 23 people have commented on this article. How cool is that?

  1. Caz says:

    My kind of make-up! I love the looks you featured.

    Never come across this brand before – mustn’t have it in Wales yet!

    I’ll have to check it out next time I’m near Selfriges


    Caz´s last blog post..Interview Attire

  2. Anne says:

    Nice, very dramatic!!!
    I wonder where I can wear that kind of make-up… it’ll be fun just to throw theme party just to be able to wear something as glamorous as that!

    Anne´s last blog post..Monday Matters:BETA

  3. Christina says:

    Wow… I can’t imagine wearing these looks, but I am stunned and fascinated. Seriously… the words aren’t coming. I wish we had Illamasqua counters here in the U.S. so I could indulge my curiosity…

    Christina´s last blog post..No More Begging For Mercy

  4. Sarahc says:

    I like what they are doing, now they have to sell in department stores over here. I totally can’t say the name lol! Eel ah masq oo ah?

  5. Tali says:

    I have just done my 6th (yes i am sick with make-up fever) haul there today!

    If you avoid things like foundation/facepowder.. the prices add up to be more reasonable than alot of other brands (YSL, CHANEL, LAura Gellar.. even some mac products!) I think the brushes are v.reasonably priced!

    Tali´s last blog post..Tropical Look

  6. Rochelle O'Brien says:

    I love their stuff and haven’t been disappointed with anything I’ve tried.

  7. Jojo says:

    I was busy checking out the MAC counter yesterday when stumbled across this opposite. Its looks great but it seems very similar to MAC, especially the black packaging/counter.

    For Caz, its in Debenhams in Cardiff (Wales) now, enjoy!

  8. Meream says:

    Second and third photos are gorgeous. The 3rd photo, especially because I fancy that my alter-ego is a bit of a Catwoman. 😀

  9. shontay says:

    Thanks for this! I’m actually excited. I usually stick to certain brands, but these looks are amazing. The website has really cool tips, too. I will be exploring. Less money in my pocket. lol.

  10. Luv J says:

    I *really* wanna try this line! I’ve seen a lot of tutorials on YouTube using these cosmetics and the colors are amazing 🙂

  11. Tali says:

    The liquid metals are amazing as are the orange colored shadows! The line only caries matte shaddows which i love.. so pigmented. I hope you get to try them out at some point!

    Tali´s last blog post..Tropical Look

  12. Sanayhs says:

    Sarahc, to the best of my knowledge it’s pronounced EEL-ah-mas-kah.

    They have a few counters now, not just the one in Selfridges, London. They’re also in Manchester, Glasgow, Belfast, Cardiff, Newcastle and Dublin. Talk about expanding quickly!

    There are 11 shimmer powder shadows and they have fantastic customer service. 🙂

    Sanayhs´s last blog post..MAC Shadow Swatches Pt 4

  13. Rani says:

    Wow…I love the makeup promo pics..Wish I was able to do makeup like that! Sounds like an interesting mu line..will check it out next time I’m in the Uk

  14. Rita says:

    Guess who’s going to London in 4 weeks! I’ll definately check out these.

  15. Karen B says:

    Looks amazing. I’m definitely checking that out when I go to London on summer school in July 🙂

    • Karen says:

      Hi Karen B.,

      You’re such the international jet setter! That’s fantastic that you have all these opportunities to study in different places. I wish I had done that more when I was in school. What will you be studying in London?

  16. Caz says:

    Jojo – thanks for that, I’ll check it out next time in in Cardiff!

    Caz´s last blog post..This hurts

  17. Jill Adams says:

    Hey Girls, I found their website & they DO deliver to US, so Being the junkie I am……….. I placed my first order with them!!! Very tricky to sort thru their color swatches, but managed to make decisions, by purchasing both the creme eyeshadow & lip gloss palate. Can’t wait for the little goodie box to arrive. Will post my thoughts after I try them. :o)

  18. Gwenrule62 says:

    Oops. Recent post had wrong email address on it. Sorry bout that.
    Gwenrule62 recently posted … More Flapper Fashion

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